DEMAREST, N.J.– Demarest firefighters didn't want their 1977 Mack pumper to end up on the scrap heap.
So instead of junking it, the department is donating the award-winning vehicle to the FDNY's Family Assistance Unit , Fire Chief John McLoughlin said.
A non-profit can't donate items to another non-profit, so the pumper was put up for auction. The Demarest department bid on the truck and bought it for $8,600.
"It was well past its life expectancy," McLoughlin added. "It hasn’t been a first line piece of apparatus for years."
The nearly 40-year-old truck lacks modern safety features, including an open cab -- and even air conditioning, the chief said.
In an ironic twist, the pumper was first used in Sept. 1977 when the firehouse was ablaze.
It has since been replaced with a 2016 Pierce Pumper, which arrived in June. That one cost $590,000 and was bought through bonding.
"It's a state-of-the-art, fully-modernized pumper," McLoughlin said.
The Family Assistance Unit works to assist FDNY families when there is a death, accident or serious illness in the family, according to its website. The Mack Pumper will be used for funeral processions and whenever city firefighters need it, McLoughlin said.
"We take a lot of pride in our equipment," he said. "Now it will continue on serving the community in N.Y."